Richfield seeks development partner for regional destination
Richfield, Minn. (January 20, 2023) – One of Richfield’s largest and last-standing redevelopment parcels will soon be up for grabs as the city begins the process of looking for a future development partner and landowner. The 3.7 acre property, located in the northwest corner of I-494 and Highway 77 (Cedar Avenue), is the result of decades of work and a unique public-private partnership.
“The city first acquired property as part of the 77th street underpass project back in 2000 and has been working on funding the project ever since,” noted Melissa Poehlman, Richfield’s Community Development Director. “Just as tunnel construction finally commenced, long-time Richfield business, Metro Sales, decided to consolidate operations and donated a portion of its land to the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority. They also expressed a desire to partner on the future redevelopment with the parcel they still own.”
On January 17, the Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) in order to seek out a developer for the project, which aims to become a regional destination in this popular area of the south metro. The HRA is seeking a unique and thoughtful response to the RFI that captures the great potential for the site.
“We’re using this process to find a developer with partnership experience,” explained Poehlman. “This is an urban, redevelopment site near a major international airport and there will be complications. We’re looking for a team that has a track record for adapting to challenges and delivering on their promises.”
On the site, located within a mile of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall of America, the HRA hopes to create an eye-catching destination that benefits both regional and local users. Compatible land uses and the creation of a walkable and bikeable environment are also high priorities for the HRA. Above all, city leaders hope the future space will be a source of welcome to the community and visitors alike.
“With great visibility and proximity to such busy hubs of activity, the site offers an opportunity to bring jobs, activity, and an eye-catching design to this southeast corner of the city,” said Poehlman. “This will be the first part of Richfield some people see, and we want it to convey the vibrancy and welcome that makes Richfield unique.”
An overview of the site lists hotels, breweries, event space, athletic facilities or business incubators as some of the preferred types of land use for the site. In addition, the HRA calls out thirteen development principles that embody the group’s desires and intentions for the site. The development principles note connectivity, views, structured parking and job creation as some priorities for the HRA.
“Many have said that Richfield is the best kept secret around, but this is an opportunity for us to invite people into Richfield to find out what our community has to offer,” offered Richfield mayor, Mary Supple. “The development principles help us to frame that message for the incoming developer and future landowners.”
The RFI asks developers to submit materials that will allow the HRA to evaluate the respondent’s team, development approach, previous experience, and financial capacity. The deadline for the RFI is February 17, 2023.
“Our community is excited about the possibilities for the site and hoping for creative ideas,” remarked Supple. “In moving forward with this project, we’re sending a message that Richfield is strong, vibrant, and planning for the future.”
The complete RFI and redevelopment opportunity flyer can be found online at: https://www.richfieldmn.gov/494RFI.